Sharpe's Challenge

Last Update: 22 April 2006

Two years after Wellington crushes Napoleon at Waterloo, dispatches from
India tell of a local Maharaja, Khande Rao, who is threatening British
interests there. Wellington sends Sharpe to investigate on what turns out to
be his most dangerous mission to date.

The last scout sent—whom we discover is Sharpe’s best friend, Sgt Harper—
has gone missing. His latest report suggests that the real power behind the
Maharaja is one Colonel Dodd (a malcontent East India Company officer ‘turned
rogue’) and that the Maharaja has gathered into his impregnable fort a
contingent of refugees from Napoleon’s army—adventurers looking to make their
fortunes in India. It’s the French that trouble Wellington the most: their
experience, tactics and discipline could help fashion the Indians into something
more than ‘just a perennial bloody nuisance’…

As usual, Wellington has not painted the full picture. For once in India, Sharpe
discovers the situation is already far graver than he was led to believe; and
things only get worse when the daughter of General Burroughs, the commander
of His Britannic Majesty’s forces in the region, is kidnapped and held in the
Maharajah’s fort by his villainous henchman, Colonel Dodd (Toby Stephens)
and the scheming yet beautiful Madhuvanthi (Padma Lakshmi). The British
were planning to storm the Maharajah’s fort by blowing up one of the outer
walls—but the Maharajah now vows to execute the General’s daughter if
any such attack is carried out. Worse still, it turns out that General Burroughs
has gone down with a fever and that Sharpe’s gutless nemesis, General
Simmerson, is now in overall charge of the army.

Sharpe, now reunited with Harper (Daragh O’Malley), devises a plan. The
two friends will disguise themselves as deserters and become part of the
Maharajah’s motley crew. Once inside the fort they will rescue the General’s
daughter and get word to him of her safety—together with details of which
side of the fort they should attack.

General Simmerson reluctantly agrees. However once inside the fort things
don’t quite go as Sharpe has planned...


Location shots in Jaipur, India.
November 3, 2005
Photos by Justin
Reprinted with permission of Picture Palace Productions
Click on the pics for larger versions.





Epic in scale, this Sharpe was shot on location in India with sumptuous
fort and palace locations replete with all that exotic India has to offer plus
stunning, nail-biting fight sequences featuring thousands of extras.
Sharpe's Challenge is a 2 x 90 minute mini series for ITV which began filming on
3rd November 2005 and lasted up until Christmas. It will also screen on BBC
America and will be sold around the world by BBC Worldwide.
A spokesman from Picture Palace Productions stated, "When we made the
last film, Sharpe's Waterloo, Sean Bean and ourselves really felt that
we had made the last Sharpe. But seven years later we now find ourselves
missing our favourite production and Sean is certainly very happy to come
back on board. Sean has of course been busy making big Hollywood films
since the last Sharpe, but he is very enthusiastic about resuming his role
which is very special to him. He told me he can't wait to get started."
(Source: the Sharpe Appreciation Society)

Sean flew to India on Tuesday, November 2, 2005, to begin filming
Sharpe's Challenge. He was in India until December 21, 2005.

Read all about the rumour history of Sharpe's Challenge here.
There's a great story (with pix) written by Richard Bonehill, the sword master
on Sharpe's Challenge. Read it here.
Visit the official Sharpe's Challenge website (trailer, pix, behind the scenes, etc.)
See behind-the-scenes photos courtesy "Rifleman Moore", the film's armourer.

Production Notes (click on the links):
Sean Bean is Richard Sharpe
Padma Lakshmi is Madhuvanthi
Toby Stephens is William Dodd
Daragh O’Malley is Patrick Harper
Behind-the-Camera Fact File
The Producer: Malcolm Craddock
The Producer: Muir Sutherland
The Creator: Bernard Cornwell
The Writer: Russell Lewis
The Sword Master: Richard Bonehill
Click HERE to see images from Sharpe's Challenge.
Thanks to the Official Sharpe's Challenge website for these interviews and images.

ITV3’s exclusive 60-minute documentary is a fascinating look behind the scenes of ITV’s
latest big budget drama. Sharpe’s Challenge …Behind The Scenes features in-depth
interviews and stunning location footage. During ITV’s exclusive programme, Sean Bean
talks viewers through the history of the series, and reveals why he thinks audiences
respond so favourably to the character of Sharpe.
Only a handful of the cast and crew have been involved in all of the 15 Sharpe films.
ITV3’s fascinating documentary illustrates the strong bond which has developed amongst
them as they once more take on the roles which are part of ITV1’s successful drama.
Watch Sharpe's Challenge ...Behind the Scenes
ITV3 (UK) - April 24, 10.30 pm


Richard Sharpe
Patrick Harper
William Dodd
Sir Samuel Rawlinson
Ramona Harper
Celia Burroughs
General Sir Henry Simmerson
Sgt. Shadrach Bickerstaff
General Burroughs
Colonel Hector McRae

Sean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Toby Stephens
Michael Elwyn
Diana Perez
Lucy Brown
Michael Cochrane
Peter-Hugo Daly
Peter Symonds
Graham McTavish

Davi Lal
Captain Leonard
Major Crosby
Captain Lawrence
Lt Mohan Singh
Khande Rao
Colonel Pierre Gudin
Major John Stokes
Sgt Jaques Bonnet

Karan Arora
Oliver Chris
Nicholas Blane
Hugh Fraser
Lex Shrapnel
Alyy Khan
Karan Panthaky
Padma Lakshmi
Shruti Vyas
Aurelien Recoing
Gary Dunnington
Thierry Hancisse


SHARPE’S CHALLENGE is produced by Malcolm Craddock and Muir Sutherland, co-produced by Julia Stannard and the executive producers are Stuart Sutherland, Kathryn Mitchell and Steve Wilkinson. It is a Celtic Films Entertainment/Picture Place Films/BBC America co-production for ITV.
BBC Worldwide holds the worldwide distribution rights for SHARPE’S CHALLENGE.
Global distribution rights for all other Sharpe titles are held by Granada International.



Executive Producers


Malcolm Craddock / Muir Sutherland
Stuart Sutherland / Kathryn Mitchell /
Steve Wilkinson
Julia Stannard

Directed by

Tom Clegg
Russell Lewis

Production Accountant
Production Designer
Armourer / Military Advisor
1st Assistant Director
Director Of Photography
Casting Director
Casting Director (France)
Costume Designer
Health And Safety Advisor
Lighting Gaffer
Locations Manager (India)
Hair & Make Up Designer
Prop Master
Stills Photographer
Script Supervisor
Script Editor
Historical Consultant
Production Sound Mixer
Special Effects Supervisor
Stunt Co-ordinator
Horse Master

Maxine Davis
Tom McCullagh
Richard Rutherford-Moore
Michael Mallinson
Nigel Willoughby
John Hubbard
Dominic Muldowney, John Tams
Laurence Gormezano-Wayser
Claire Anderson
Chris Ridsdale
David Sutcliffe
Tom Gates
Vrajesh Sampat
Marella Shearer
Harveer Singh
Tony Nutley
Caroline O'reilly
Rachel Murrell
Dr Kim A. Wagner
Alistair Crocker
Tony Auger
Gareth Milne
Richard Bonehill
Gerard Naprous

Running time

Broadcast Dates

2 x 90 minutes (ITV1)
1 x 101 minutes (BBC America)
23 April and 24 April 2006 (ITV1)



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